Specialized in blood oranges and other citrus fruit, the Carpentiere group will kick off its Tarocco, Morro and Tarocco Rosso campaign in less than a month. Alexandre Dudouit outlines the first trends of the coming campaign and talks about the rise of Italian citrus fruit on the French market.
A 2023 campaign that contrasts with 2022
Some operators expressed their apprehension at the start of the campaign about the availability of volumes, but the yields are actually good this year. The Carpentiere group will sell 15,000 tons of Sicilian citrus fruit on the European market in 2023, including 6,000 tons of blood oranges. But the 2023 Sicilian citrus season is surprising in terms of both quality and calibers. “We are already at 13 degrees Brix for the Tarroco, with a juiciness rate of +45%, and the harvest is still 1 month away,” explains Alexandre. Regarding calibers, 2023 is also “completely different from last year, which had a predominance of small sizes due to the lack of water. Last year, we supplied private labels in sizes 5, 6 and 7, whereas this year, 60% of the crop is in sizes 8 or 9.”
Sicilian citrus fruits are gaining popularity
Portugal and Corsica have been popular in recent years, but Italy has also been increasing its presence on a market still dominated by Spain. “Ten years ago, Italian citrus fruits were a niche product but today, they are well positioned in supermarkets and in the multi-fruit sector. Every year, and especially in 2023, the demand from distributors is very strong. Dockside sellers are also delivering more and more Sicilian citrus fruit to professional market traders.” The drop in production observed in some Mediterranean basins could also benefit other origins such as Italy.
Clementines from Calabria are no exception to this Italian craze, with a flying start to the 2023 campaign. “We are sensing a real demand from consumers, with particularly excellent sales for the Pitoufo parcel.” Although not usually positioned after its Corsican counterpart, this Italian clementine, thanks to its “exceptional taste”, has been able to occupy an early place in the fruit and vegetable aisles, with a significant advantage: its price.
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